Vegan Lemon Crinkle Cookies

NFNut FreeVVegan
5 from 5 votes
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Vegan Lemon Crinkle Cookies are soft and sweet, bursting with bright lemon flavors, and coated in powdered sugar. The perfect cookies for spring!

These Vegan Lemon Crinkle Cookies are coated in powdered sugar and have distinct crackles on the outside, while the inside is bright, lemony, and super soft – basically like a portable lemon bar! Enjoy them as a sweet treat during spring and summer, or whenever you’re craving a little pop of sunshine in your life.

Table of Contents
  1. A Sweet Treat to Brighten Your Day
  2. Ingredients for Vegan Lemon Cookies
  3. How to Make Vegan Lemon Crinkle Cookies
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. How to Store Lemon Cookies
  6. Substitutions and Variations
  7. Recipe FAQs
  8. Vegan Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe
lemon crinkle cookies cooling on a cooling rack next to a plate of lemon cookies and half of a lemon, on a sea green kitchen countertop

A Sweet Treat to Brighten Your Day

If you love vegan lemon bars, these Soft Lemon Crinkle Cookies will surely brighten your day! They’re like lemon bars in cookie form, with the same bright lemon flavor and gooey centers. Just try to resist their distinct crackled tops and powdered sugar coating… It’s not easy!

You’ll catch me in the kitchen making a batch of these cookies throughout spring and summer—for Easter, summer get-togethers, and backyard hangouts—but they’re especially perfect when winter feels like it’s dragging on a little too long. Speaking from personal experience, these bright yellow lemon cookies are an ideal remedy for a rainy gray day.
These crinkle cookies are easy and fun to make, plus they’re perfect for sharing, so add them to your spring baking list ASAP!

Ingredients for Vegan Lemon Cookies

These bright and lemony cookies require everyday ingredients and only 20 minutes of prep time:

ingredients for lemon crinkle cookies laid out on a sea green backdrop
  • Flour: Classic all-purpose flour is all you need. For the best results, measure the flour with a kitchen scale.
  • Turmeric: A teeny tiny pinch of turmeric gives the cookie dough a bright yellow color that’ll instantly catch your eye. Best of all, it doesn’t affect the flavor at all! Feel free to omit the turmeric if you want or replace it with a few drops of yellow food gel or food coloring. 
  • Sugar: Granulated white sugar will do, or you can use granulated cane sugar.
  • Lemon juice and zest: It’s important to use fresh lemon juice and zest here for a tart and fresh lemon flavor. 1 packed tablespoon of lemon zest may sound like a lot of zest but the lemon flavor mellows out in the baking process, resulting in perfectly balanced lemon-flavored cookies. Remember to buy at least 4 to 5 lemons so you have enough for the juice and the zest.
  • Salted vegan butter: If all you have is unsalted butter, go ahead and use it but increase the salt to 1/2 teaspoon. Softened refined coconut oil also works for these cookies but they will be slightly less soft and will spread more in the oven.
  • Oil: Some vegetable oil in the cookies gives them a softer texture and gooier centers (yum). Use a neutral vegetable oil for no added flavor, or swap it out for olive oil for a little more flavor complexity! 
  • Powdered confectioner’s sugar: It wouldn’t be a crinkle cookie recipe without the powdered sugar coating. Each lemon cookie dough ball is generously coated in sugar before baking, resulting in a sweeter flavor and eye-catching crackles around the outside.

How to Make Vegan Lemon Crinkle Cookies

a grid of six images showing the below-described preparation process of the cookie dough
  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl, then set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, use your hands to massage the lemon zest into the sugar.
  3. Cream the butter with the lemon sugar on low speed. Scrape down the sides, then mix in the rest of the wet ingredients.
  4. Slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined.
  5. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge.
  6. Roll pieces of the cookie dough into balls, then generously coat them in powdered sugar. Place them on prepared baking sheets, leaving space between each ball.
  7. Bake the cookies until they’re puffy and look firm around the edges.
  8. Let the cookies cool completely, then serve and enjoy.
twenty lemon cookies cooling on a cooling rack

Caitlin’s Cooking Tips

  • Secrets to the best lemon flavor: Take the time to squeeze the lemons yourself to give the cookies the brightest, most lemony flavor. Also, according to baking queen Claire Saffitz, massaging the fresh citrus zest into the granulated sugar results in a more sour, mouth-puckering lemon flavor.
  • For the perfect cookie dough: After mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, the cookie dough should be very soft and slightly crumbly but not dry (overmixed; too much flour) or sticky (undermixed; too much liquid). You’ll know the dough is perfect when it holds together after pinching a little between your fingers.
  • Don’t be stingy with the sugar coating! Coat each cookie dough ball with more powdered sugar than you think you need. I even like to press a little extra on the sides and top before baking to make the cracks more distinguishable.

Serving Suggestions

Treat yourself to a lemon cookie (or two) at the tail end of winter to bring some brightness to your day. When the weather is warm and sunny, pair the cookies with a tall glass of Blueberry Lemonade or these Blueberry Maqui Popsicles for a tart and refreshing treat.

If you’re looking for more vegan lemon treats, you’ll love these Lemon Poppyseed Energy Bites, this Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cake, or these Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Or, if you’re looking for more vegan cookie recipes, you’ll love these Almond Flour Thumbprint Cookies, these Blueberry Cookies, or these Golden Milk Shortbread Cookies.

four lemon crinkle cookies stacked on top of each other on a white plate with a slice of lemon placed next to the plate, in a white backdrop

How to Store Lemon Cookies

Once cooled, the lemon cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They should stay soft and fresh for up to 1 week when kept in a cool, dry place.

I do not recommend freezing these cookies because the powdered sugar gets freezer-burned very quickly.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Citrus Juice and Zest: I love tart and tangy lemon-flavored crinkle cookies but you can switch up the flavors by replacing the lemon juice/zest with lime juice/zest or orange juice/zest.
  • Nut-Free Option: Omit the almond extract if you have a nut allergy.
lemon crinkle cookies served on a flower-like plate topped with a slice of lemon

Recipe FAQs

Why aren’t my cookies crinkling?

You may miss out on the signature crinkles when the crinkle cookie dough is too warm. It’s so important to chill the dough before baking so the cookies don’t spread or flatten!

Do I have to chill the cookie dough?

Yes, chilling the dough in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight is key to round, puffy, and crinkled cookies. As it chills, the butter in the dough solidifies, which means it melts more slowly in the oven. Warm butter melts even faster, which means thin and flat cookies.

Can I make these cookies gluten-free?

I have only tested this recipe with all-purpose flour, so it’s hard to say if a 1:1 gluten-free flour will work or not. If you give it a try, share your results with us in the comments!

Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊

Vegan Lemon Crinkle Cookies

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Vegan Lemon Crinkle Cookies are soft and sweet, bursting with bright lemon flavors, and coated in powdered sugar. The perfect cookies for spring!


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric optional, for color
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packed tablespoon lemon zest* 3-4 lemons
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free salted butter* softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil*
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice at room temperature* (2-3 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract optional
  • 1 cup powdered confectioner’s sugar


  • Dry Ingredients: Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, turmeric (if using) and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  • Wet Ingredients: Add the sugar and lemon zest to a large bowl or stand mixer. Use your hands to massage the lemon zest into the sugar until it is evenly distributed and the sugar is yellow (this creates a stronger lemon flavor!). Add the softened butter and mix on low speed, using a stand mixer or electric mixer, for 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the oil, applesauce, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract to the bowl and mix for 1 more minute. The mixture should be mostly uniform, but may look slightly separated due to the lemon juice.
  • Make the Dough: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. The dough should be very soft and look slightly crumbly, but it should not be sticky and should ball together when pinched. Use a spatula to form the dough into 1 ball and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Chill: Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight.
  • Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Add the powdered sugar to a small bowl and set aside.
  • Form the Cookies: Use a measuring spoon or cookie scoop to scoop out 1 1/2 tablespoons of cookie dough. Roll the dough between your hands to form a smooth ball, then generously roll the cookie dough in the powdered sugar. Coat it in more sugar than you think you need – I like to even press a little extra on the sides and top of the ball. Place the coated ball on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining cookie dough, placing each cookie about 3” apart from each other.
  • Bake: Bake the cookies, one baking tray at a time, in the middle rack of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Store the extra baking tray in the refrigerator while the first one bakes.
  • Cool: Remove the cookies from the oven (they should have spread, but still look puffy) and let them set on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire baking rack and let them cool completely.
  • Serve & Store: Enjoy immediately, or store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes

  • Lemon Zest: 1 packed tablespoon sounds like a lot of zest, but the lemon flavor mellows out a lot in the cooking process to result in a perfectly balanced lemon-flavored cookie. If you want a really strong lemon flavor, I’d recommend increasing the zest to 1 1/2 packed tablespoons
  • Oil: The added oil in these cookies gives them a softer texter and more gooey center. Use a neutral vegetable oil for no added flavor, or swap it out for olive oil for a little more flavor complexity!
  • Unsalted Butter: If using unsalted butter increase the salt to 1/2 tsp. You can also use softened refined coconut oil for these cookies, but they will be slightly less soft and will spread more in the oven.


Calories: 144kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 99mgPotassium: 21mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: lemon cookie recipes, lemon crinkle cookies, spring cookie recipes, vegan cookie recipes, vegan lemon cookies
Course: Dessert
Method: Oven
Cuisine: America, Italian, Mediterranean
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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  1. 5 stars
    These are amazing, my husband does not like lemon flavored cookies and is now telling everyone they are his favorite cookie ever and doesn’t want me to make anything else. Thanks for the winner of a recipe

    1. your comment honestly made my day. so wholesome and sweet. i’m even more excited to try them out!

      1. 5 stars
        Made these for Easter for my vegan sister and brother in law and they were a huge hit for the m and the non vegans alike! So much so I’m currently making a double batch to bring on a weekend trip we’re taking this weekend! Quick question, can the dough chill for more then overnight before being baked, like a day or two??

      2. Yes, the dough can chill in the refrigerator for more than overnight, up to a day or two. Chilling the dough helps the flavors meld and develops a better texture, so chilling it longer shouldn’t be a problem. Just make sure to tightly cover the dough with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. When you’re ready to bake, simply proceed with rolling the chilled dough into balls, coating them in powdered sugar, and baking as directed. Enjoy!

      1. Hello! I’m excited to make this recipe. Is it okay to make these cookieswith regular (non-vegan) butter?

      2. Hi Holly! We haven’t personally tried that, but you can experiment. Just ensure the butter is softened before mixing. If you use unsalted butter, increase the salt in the recipe to 1/2 teaspoon. This should work well and still give you delicious lemon crinkle cookies!